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First 25 Films released!


The 47th Chicago International Film Festival announces its first 25 titles

CHICAGO, August 26, 2011 - Cinema/Chicago and The Chicago International Film Festival, the oldest competitive film festival in North America, today announced the first 25 films of the more than 150 that will be presented during the 47th Chicago International Film Festival to be held October 6-20, 2011.

"From French New Wave maverick Claude Lelouch and New German Cinema legend (and Chicago Film Festival discovery) Wim Wenders to Hollywood films, groundbreaking animation, riveting documentaries and 3D, these films represent a great cross-section of the direction the Festival is taking this year," said Michael Kutza, Founder and Artistic Director of the Chicago International Film Festival.

"These first 25 titles reflect the fantastic lineup of exciting, offbeat, and provocative films we have chosen, from hidden gems to the season’s most highly anticipated movies by the likes of David Cronenberg, Chen Kaige and Aki Kaurismäki, offering the best in cinema from around the world," added Mimi Plauché, Head of Programming for the 47th Chicago International Film Festival.

The announced titles are:
    • Carol Channing: Larger Than Life (Director: Dori Berinstein • USA): Inspiring, heartwarming, hilarious and full of life, this portrait of the Tony® and Golden Globe® award winning actress, singer and comedienne weaves Broadway history with an unbelievable love story to capture the unique persona behind the iconic performances in Hello Dolly and Gentleman Prefer Blondes.
    • A Dangerous Method (Director: David Cronenberg • France/Ireland/UK/Germany/Canada): Seduced by the challenge of an impossible case, the driven Dr. Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) takes the unbalanced yet beautiful Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) as his patient in A Dangerous Method. Jung's weapon is the method of his master, the renowned Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen).
    • Day is Done (Director: Thomas Imbach • Switzerland): Fifteen years of 35mm footage shot almost entirely from one vantage point overlooking the back of the Zurich train station is paired with fifteen years of answering machine messages to form an unlikely portrait of the artist. Though unseen and unheard, Thomas Imbach allows a full persona to develop from the voices and tone of each caller and the objects his camera chooses, follows and lingers over.
    • Haunters (Director: Min-suk Kim • South Korea): A young thief’s ability to control minds is frustrated when he meets one just beyond his reach in this fast paced Korean action thriller. On a routine robbery of a pawnshop, things go terribly awry and an epic cat and mouse game quickly ensues, taking the viewer on a super charged tour of Seoul at night.
    • The Jewel (Director: Andrea Molaioli • Italy): Deception, betrayal, and sleight of hand lie at the heart of this gripping drama of corporate intrigue. When multi-nationals threaten the existence of a family-owned dairy business, the company patriarch and his loyal financial advisor must find a way, any way, to keep the company going. Desperate times beget desperate measures and unsavory consequences.
    • Joint Body (Director: Brian Jun • USA): Noir infused characters, with plenty to be paranoid about, are thrown together in a desperate situation when recent parolee Nick Burke (Lost’s Mark Pellegrino) comes to the aid of Michelle (Friday Night Lights’ Alicia Witt), an exotic dancer living in a mysterious self-imposed exile in downstate Illinois. When they’re forced to team up and on the lam, the two wonder whether they can even trust each other.
    • Kinyarwanda (Director: Alrick Brown • USA): A young Tutsi girl and Hutu boy fall in love, an army captain tries to stay true to her mission while keeping her humanity intact, and a priest grapples with his faith amidst unspeakable betrayals and horrors. This gorgeously shot first feature magnifies the individual lives of those who suffered and endured in this compelling, wholly original take on the 1994 Rwandan Massacre.
    • The Kite (Director: Prashat Bhargava • India): Can you ever really go home again? In Chicago-born Prashant Bhargava’s visually stunning feature debut, a successful Delhi businessman returns to his familial home, urban-bred daughter in tow, for a surprise visit during India’s largest kite festival. The excitement of their homecoming soon fades as long-held resentments and distrust surface.
    • Le Havre (Director: Aki Kaurismäki • France/Finland/Germany): Humanity and dead-pan wit triumph in Aki Kauriskmäki’s magical tale of an aging Bohemian shoeshine and a young African refugee. When fate lands Idrissa at Marcel Marx’s doorstep in the French port city of Le Havre, Marcel knows what has to be done. Enlisting the help of the whole neighbourhood of eccentrics and in defiance of all authority, he embarks on a risky plan to reconnect the boy with his mother.

    • Leave it on the Floor (Director: Sheldon Larry • USA): Sheldon Larry's delightfully energetic, bold and rather cheeky musical about the glamourous world of voguing follows the journey of one young gay African American as he finds his place in the world. After being thrown out of the house by his homophobic mother, Brad stumbles into L.A.'s competitive underground drag ball scene where he discovers a brave new world of friendship, love, and acceptance. Leave It on the Floor features original songs by Beyoncé’s creative director Kim Burse and dynamic choreography by Frank Gatson, Jr.
    • A Little Closer (Director: Matt Petock • USA): This lyrical portrait of life in small town Virginia finds a single mother struggling to keep it together, working as a housekeeper and looking for love. Meanwhile, her two adolescent sons explore their own sexuality in the sweltering, stagnant days of summer. This debut family drama presents an intimate study of the emotional landscape of rural America.
    • Madame X (Director: Lucky Kuswandi • Indonesia): In this Indonesian-styled Priscilla Queen of the Desert, our transsexual superhero goes up against Mr. Storm, The National Morality Front and his deadly burqa-clad wives. A dark wit pervades this daring, camp-filled first feature from director Lucky Kuswandi.
    • Miss Bala (Director: Gerardo Naranjo • Mexico): Equal doses of unrelenting action, beauty queen fantasy and social disquiet rule this detached tale of drug trafficking in Baja California, inspired by a true story. On her way to compete in her first beauty pageant, Laura is swept up in a gangland slaying and suddenly finds herself forced to work as a mule to save her own life.
    • Nobody Else But You (Director: Gérald Hustache-Mathieu • France): The ambiguous suicide of a local beauty, weathergirl, cheese model, and Marilyn Monroe look-a-like finds an eager sleuth in David Rousseau, best-selling crime novelist. When Rousseau visits a remote Alps village for the reading of his friend’s will he unwittingly, but irresistibly, gets caught in the tangled web of murder and small town politics in this off-beat mystery.
    • Pina (Dir: Wim Wenders • Germany/France/UK): Legendary German filmmaker (and Chicago Film Festival discovery) Wim Wenders brings long-time friend and dance innovator Pina Bausch’s revolutionary work to life through state-of-the-art 3-D in Pina. A labor of love for both Wenders and the Tanztheater Wuppertal, Bausch’s company, Pina features four of Bausch’s most acclaimed choreographies ingeniously staged indoors and outdoors. By focusing on depth and perspective instead of flashy effects, Wenders creates a submersive experience for dance fans and neophytes alike.
    • The Return of Joe Rich (Director: Sam Auster • USA): He lost his job, his wife and his home, but not his sense of honor. When Joe returns to Chicago he looks up his aging but still dangerous Uncle Dom in the hopes of getting ―connected‖ and living the life of a made man. When Uncle Dom resists, Joe makes him an offer he can’t refuse.
    • Sacrifice (Director: Chen Kaige • China): What are the limits of loyalty, family, and justice? Driven by jealousy and power, General Tu-Angu frames an entire clan for the murder of their king and wipes out all 300 members. All but one�"a baby boy and dynastic heir, secretly rescued by the family doctor. But when Tu-Angu orders the Herod-like murder of every male infant, the doctor makes an inconceivable sacrifice in Chen Kaige’s (Farewell My Concubine) breathtaking adaptation of a classical Chinese opera.
    • The Slut (Director: Hagar Ben-Asher • Israel): Winner of the Best Director prize at the Jerusalem Film Festival, Hagar Ben-Asher’s alternative, almost anti-cautionary tale presents Tamar, a beautiful, young single mother with a seemingly insatiable sexual appetite. While running a chicken farm with her two daughters, she finds servicing the village’s lackluster men gets her through the inconveniences of everyday life. That is until a hunky veterinarian comes to town.
    • Take Me Home (Director: Sam Jaeger • USA): Thom (Sam Jaeger) just can’t win. After losing a job offer and getting evicted, he decides to buckle up as an illegal New York City cab driver. When he picks up Claire (Amber Jaeger), they embark on a trip neither one anticipated. This comedy finds solace in the back seat of a cab, the landscape of the USA, and even in a complete stranger. Director Sam Jaeger’s (from NBC’S Parenthood) Take Me Home, shows how a little cross-country drive can often lead you to take a different exit.
    • Target (Director: Alexander Zeldovich • Russia): The year is 2020, the place, Russia. Four members of that country's elite go out in search of the fountain of youth in this sci-fi take on Anna Karenina which includes a secret military facility granting eternal youth and an amped up sex drive and goggles that reveal the exact quantities of good and evil that reside in a person. Nearly giddy with its lurid imagery, this highly stylized Russian production is sure to be a cult hit.
    • The Three Musketeers (Director: Paul W.S. Anderson • USA): They are known as Porthos, Athos, and Aramis three elite warriors who serve the King of France as his best Musketeers. After discovering an evil conspiracy to overthrow the King, the Musketeers come across a young, aspiring hero D’Artagnan and take him under their wing. Together, the four embark on a dangerous mission to foil the plot that not only threatens the Crown, but the future of Europe itself in this big-screen action adventure update of the Alexandre Dumas' novel shot in state-of-the-art 3D.
    • Volcano (Director: Rúnar Rúnarsson • Iceland/Denmark): An unconventional coming-of-age tale wrapped in a tender love story, this debut feature presents a portrait of compassionate devotion and an unflinching look at aging. When Hannes retires at age 67, it seems that life�"well, meaningful life�"has come to an end. Estranged from family and friends, Hannes' most intimate relationship is with his boat, until a series of drastic events causes him to take stock of his life.
    • We Need to Talk About Kevin (Director: Lynne Ramsay • UK): In a tour-de-force performance, Tilda Swinton plays reluctant mother Eva grappling with her fraught relationship with troubled son Kevin (Ezra Miller). Based on Lionel Shriver’s eponymous novel, Lynne Ramsay’s masterful psychological thriller presents a provocative tale, which crescendos to a chilling climax.
    • What Love May Bring (Director: Claude Lelouch • France): The 43rd film from Academy Award®-winning director and French New Wave maverick Claude Lelouch (A Man and a Woman) elicits a vision that is as potent as ever. Driven by a spirited will, the turbulent life of Ilva Lemoine, from her delight-filled childhood through the Great War, the French Resistance, liberation, and memories of soldiers loved and lost, is recounted in this spectacular epic drama.
    • Short Films: Our pick of the best new short films from around the world includes dystopian zombie thriller The Unliving (Sweden), claymation as you’ve never seen it before in the erotic comedy Venus (pictured, Denmark), and danger lurking beneath the surface in the award-winning The Strange Ones (USA).

Led by Presenting Partner, Columbia College Chicago, the 47th Chicago International Film Festival’s sponsors include: Premiere Partners - American Airlines, Lincoln; Producing Partners - DePaul University's School of Cinema and Interactive Media, AMC Theaters; Major Partners - Allstate, Intersites; Supporting Partners - Applitite, Barefoot Wines, Brugal Rum, DDB Chicago, Kodak, Louise, Second City Computers, and the Festival's Headquarters Hotel, JW Marriott Chicago.

Michael Kutza
Founder and Artistic Director
T: 312-683-0121, x104

Mimi Plauché
Head of Programming
Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival
T: 312-683-0121, x105

Vivian Teng
Managing Director
Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival
T: 312-683-0121, x115

Erin Payton
Marketing Manager
Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival
T: 312-683-0121, x108

A variety of Festival Passes are already on sale. Pass options include:
Moviegoer (10 regular admissions): $90 for Cinema/Chicago members, $120 for non-members.
Passport (20 regular admissions): $170 for Cinema/Chicago members, $230 for non-members

Passes can be obtained by visiting online store or by calling 312.683.0121

Festival screenings will be at the AMC River East 21 Theater, 322 E. Illinois St., Chicago, IL 60611. Additional film selections and the screening schedule will be announced in mid-September.

Cinema/Chicago is a not-for-profit cultural and educational organization dedicated to encouraging better understanding between cultures and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image. The Chicago International Film Festival is part of the year-round programs presented by Cinema/Chicago, which also include the International Screenings Program (May-September), the Hugo Television Awards (April), CineYouth Festival (May), Intercom Competition (October) and year-round Education Outreach and Member Screenings Program.